Exploring St. Louis History

Exploring St. Louis History

St. Louis is one of the larger cities in Missouri, and it is certainly the best known. The city first came into existence during 1764 when it was considered the property of France. The original European settlers were French men who used the city as a place to sell the furs that they had trapped, especially beaver fur since beaver was a favorite material of hat makers all over Europe at the time. At the time, St. Louis was the main cultural hub for that particular region and after a few years it was deemed the capital of Louisiana.

St. Louis became an official part of the United States when the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, finalized the Louisiana Purchase from the French. That started what would become a long and colorful history for the young city.

Despite the fact that there was a great deal of culture and many intelligent minds called St. Louis home, it was not until 1808, that the city actually developed a government. It was during that year that the city finally got around to electing their very first group of legislators.  It took more than 10 years after that before Missouri became a state. Late in 1822, St. Louis was officially recognized as a part of Missouri instead of Louisiana. During this period of time the economy in St. Louis was thriving, mostly because the steamboat industry had become a huge deal, making St. Louis a very important port-of-call and turning into an important city that actually managed to link the Eastern states with the Western states. The accessibility of the city made it very appealing to the United States government who was looking to put together a arsenal. Construction on the arsenal began in 1827. Despite the accessibility and importance of St. Louis, it did not play much of a role in the Civil war, and aside for a few skirmishes, saw very little combative action.

Near the middle of the 19th century, St. Louis started to hold a lot of appeal to immigrants moving into the USA, especially ones who were coming from Ireland and Germany. The affect the immigration had on the city was unbelievable. In 1840, the city had a population of just under 20,000 and twenty years later the city had swelled to more than 160,000.

More than two hundred years have passed since St. Louis since Jefferson signed the treaty that made St. Louis and the surrounding land a part of the United States, but despite all the time that has passed, when you visit the city, you will still be able to see signs of its French heritage.

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